Crimson Cowboy delivers motivational speech to Selma QB Club
Published 10:27 pm Monday, September 24, 2018
The Selma QB Club met for its third speaker night of the season on Monday at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center where Sherman Williams, the Crimson Cowboy, delivered an inspirational message.
“Whenever you’re able to come out and deliver the word of God, share your testimony, the miracles of Christ and the miracles of God working in your life, it’s always a blessing,” Williams said.
Williams, whose motivational speaking mirrors that of a preacher on Sunday, was scheduled for Father-Son and Daughter Night so that the young people in attendance could listen to his story.
He was a three-sport athlete and state champion running back (1990) for Blount High School. In his senior year, he became the first back in Alabama high school football history to rush for more than 3,000 yards in a season. He had 31 touchdowns that season as well.
He went on to play running back at The University of Alabama, where he won a national championship with the Crimson Tide.
After college, he was selected in the second-round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who won Super Bowl XXX in his rookie year.
But the success wasn’t the message of the night.
Williams shared his personal journey of ups-and-downs, which he credits his Christian faith for seeing him through.
He joined a local gang at a young age and was a part of an alcohol distribution ring when he was in the seventh-grade. Williams was expelled from his school three games into his seventh-grade football season for getting into trouble.
Even when he returned to football and became a star high school football player, Williams continued to get in trouble and hang around the wrong crowd.
He was already signed to play running back for the Crimson Tide when he was charged with second-degree attempted murder.
He praised God for getting him through the trial, and he was able to join coach Gene Stallings at Alabama. Williams described Stallings as a great guy, but a big disciplinarian.
Williams signature touchdown dance, the “Sherman Shake” wasn’t a celebration Stallings was big on, but he told Sherman it was OK as long as he did it in the end zone.
Williams told the QB club about his 45-4-1 career with the Crimson Tide. He could call back big moments in crucial games as if he’d just watched the film before the meeting.
He remembered how cold it was at Legion Field in Birmingham for the first-ever SEC championship in 1992 when Alabama defeated the Florida Gators 28-21.
He gave the play-by-play of the 1993 National Championship game against the Miami Hurricanes in the Sugar Bowl, when George Teague chased down Lamar Thomas to prevent a touchdown.
He smiled re-telling the story of scoring the game-winning touchdown in the 1992 Iron Bowl and doing the “Sherman Shake” in the end zone. The only time he was able to do his celebratory dance against the rival Auburn Tigers.
Many of the QB club members remembered the games and moments Williams shared, and they nodded as they enjoyed the flashbacks.
Even still, trouble continued to be a part of Williams’ life.
Five years after being drafted by the Cowboys and winning the Super Bowl, Williams was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in federal prison for three counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and a separate plea for passing counterfeit currency.
Throughout his speech to the club, Williams stressed the value of good decision making. He was open about how his poor decision making always resulted in consequences.
But he also shared the positives that came from good decision making. The strength it takes to not give up and be determined to make the right choices.
Now, Williams is an author, motivational speaker and operates the Palmer Williams Group (PWG) with his former teammate David Palmer.
PWG is a non-profit organization that helps kids, who grew up in similar situations to Williams, to access resources that maybe otherwise unavailable. It started with a youth football camp in 2015, and has grown to offer financial literacy courses and provide other useful tools to help give back to the community.
The QB Club loved his speech and stood to applaud him once he finished. Several fans, and even some Auburn fans, lined up at his booth to purchase autographed copies of his book “The Crimson Cowboy.”
“I wanted the young people to know that no matter what curve balls life throws at you, you can always have another chance,” Williams said. “Suicide has been very big over the last decade in this country from young people giving up, but I just want to encourage them and let them know that even if they get knocked off the horse, you can always get back up and try again.”
The next QB Club meeting is on Oct. 8 at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center, and the speaker will be former Auburn University center Ben Tamburello.